Rise of the Innerpreneur

The Art of Your Business

Creating a business is just as abstract as creating a painting, and while you can go to a million painting classes and learn a thousand difference techniques, what will end up on the canvas depends on you. Knowing how to do something doesn’t makes it special—it’s the art of it, the You in it, that makes it what it is.

The right way to run your business, the art of your business, is learned through experience and in a growing awareness of what you know, what you are good at, and what you can do. It’s through this understanding that you uncover how you want to and ‘should’ do business.

If it was so easy to be great simply by knowing how to do something, wouldn’t there be more great people doing really great things? Knowing how to do something is easy, it’s the art of doing it that’s hard. That takes creation, and it requires a stretching of the mind that can be so uncomfortable many people spend their whole lives avoiding it.

photo credit: Alex L’aventurier

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

Ageism and Entrepreneurship: 5 Ways to Make Old Age Work in Your Favour

ageism

This article is written by guest author Jelena Djurdjevic.

We all know that getting old isn’t for the faint of heart. As people advance in age, new challenges related to physical and mental ability need to be overcome in order to ensure a productive lifestyle. With modern developments in medicine and nutrition, however, people can now maintain their ability to function at a high level well into their 70s and even 80s. In these circumstances, it stands to reason that success in the competitive world of business is also achievable, so let’s take a closer look at the reasons why ageism should fall by the wayside in the years to come:

1. Entrepreneurial drive is permanent

In a recent survey of 720 people aged 65 and older, both men and women testified as to what their greatest fears were with regards to ageing. Aside from expressing concern about their physical and mental well-being, many respondents feared losing their financial independence. To that end, one of the best ways to guarantee peace of mind in your twilight years is to never give up on your dreams. Nurture and harness your entrepreneurial drive even as your body starts to falter, and you’ll likely discover that your capacity for hard work and innovation is far from running dry.

2. History supports anti-ageism

Looking back into the past, there are plenty of instances where extremely successful enterprises have been started by people who were nearing retirement age. Moreover, even when it comes to companies that are led by youthful entrepreneurs, more often than not you’ll see an experienced businessman employed at a top level of the enterprise. To give just one famous example, John Sculley played an essential role in shepherding Steve Jobs’ burgeoning Apple empire throughout its early years, even if his level of name recognition isn’t on par with that of Jobs.

3. Expertise is a valuable asset

Simply put, one cannot go through life without accumulating knowledge. The more the years pass, the higher level of expertise one stands to gain in any chosen field. In the business world, this usually translates to a deeper understanding of the various mechanisms that govern companies and their employees. Time also tends to bring about a certain level of wisdom in some people, one that comes from seeing things happen over and over again, as well as infuse them with the kind of patience that’s necessary to prevent rash decisions and other misguided ventures. All these qualities are guaranteed to come in handy at an executive level, and are prized assets for companies everywhere.

4. Commanding respect

Another consequence of growing old lies in having your stature expand in the eyes of co-workers. People are taught from an early age to feel a sense of respect towards their elders, especially if they’ve achieved a position of prominence within their chosen field. Indeed, the average age of a CEO across all industries is 50 years old upon taking office, which illustrates the fact that older people tend to be trusted more with authority than their less experienced colleagues. Even in the relatively new Information Technology sector, the average CEO age has crept up to 45 years old, a sign that the industry is stabilizing and nearing its maturation stage.

5. More contacts, more opportunities

In the business world, who you know is often just as important as what you know. To that end, people who have accumulated a large amount of business contacts will generally have more people they can rely on. Naturally, this translates into a bevy of new opportunities, from business expansion possibilities to simply having a wider pool of available candidates to fill potential job openings with. Of course, this only works if you’ve carefully cultivated your contacts throughout the years, since burning bridges and being generally anti-social rarely lead to many long-term alliances.

All in all, it’s clear that older people have certain unique things that they can bring to the table in almost any business setting. For these reasons alone, their place in the world of entrepreneurship should continue to stabilize as their standing in society improves. As it stands, although it may sometimes seem like young man’s world out there, it’s one that’s irrevocably built and maintained on the sturdy shoulders of the elderly.

“Better” Than You

SeeSaw

It’s an endless quest to be good enough in another person’s eyes. Not facing our own thoughts and feelings, we measure our self using the eyes of another. Unable to acknowledge it’s really our own perception of self that we use as the measure—not theirs.

It takes practice to feel good and whole as we are. Sometimes, rather than doing this, we buy clothes and things, chase and stockpile money, and do what we can to be “better” than others. In comparison, we find our worth.

Rather than question and/or remove ourselves from the mindsets and situations that exert and encourage this dance of superiority/inferiority, we can find ourselves feeding into it and trying to puff ourselves up in order to match it—and even beat it. In our armour of clothes, hair, beautiful things, and pomp we are elevated and protected.

A culture of buying into the need to feel superior (and invariably, inferior) to others. A collective experience encouraging us and teaching us all to feel so very insecure.

Repeatedly pushed and pulled to feel inferior and superior, internally and externally, this wild see-saw of emotion is crazy-making. In our totality, we are no better nor worse, yet we each have qualities that make us “better” than another. It’s focusing on these qualities that gets us caught on the see-saw. Feeling superior ultimately leads to feeling inferior. And vice versa. The pendulum keeps swinging, the see-saw rises and falls.

How do we know what is impressive to another? Thinking what impresses us is what impresses everyone leaves us in fantasy, believing everyone is like us. And they are not. Acknowledging our fantastical expectations, we are pulled by them less by them—and we’re less likely to push them on others, keeping ourselves on the see-saw.

We are neither as perfect nor as terrible as we imagine ourselves (and others) to be. Accepting this frees us from the push and pull to be “the best.” Equanimity actively dissolve the illusion surrounding us.

For our own happiness, we need to own the places where we compete and compare, where we feel inferior and superior to others. It’s so very okay that we ride the see-saw. It’s so very okay we measure our self against others. Owning this, we make the see-saw an easier ride for all of us. Now, the pendulum has less space to swing, and the ride becomes less wild. For the moment, in our truth, we are each good enough.

photo credit: Mike Leary

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

Attached to Who We Are

Nobody

Have you noticed — when you are living for the moment — you’re not attached to some fixed idea of who you are? In those moments of presence, you are you — you are nobody. There is no attachment to any idea of who you are.

In those moments, you experience ultimate freedom.

Our ego holds a powerful hold over us — and it causes us a lot of trouble. Situated in our lower mind, our ego is the part of our mental construct that needs for us to be a fixed thing, and one which is desirable and knowledgeable. Whereas our higher mind understands the freedom of being nobody, of needing no sense of fixed self. It knows the value of letting go of the desire to be desirable, and it accepts that our ignorance is our path to freedom.

Despite what our ego tells us, what we need is to be open and learn. What we do not need is to give into our desire to be seen as special. Only when we’re not attached to who we are, can we allow ourselves to be — and be seen.

photo credit: Chris Brown

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.

More Complex Than A Story Can Tell

photo credit: duncan c

In whatever shape it may take, whenever I hear a story, I find myself wondering how it is serving the person who is telling it. I understand what’s being presented is not the whole story, and perhaps, it’s not even half. It’s the version of the story the storyteller wants to share with me and it’s the version of the story they want to see.

We can have a lot of unconscious motivations and intentions behind the stories we tell, and while it would be lovely to think they are all pure and love-filled, this may not be true. We share stories to share a story—to share a version of events that we feel will be emotionally impactful. It’s not the truth per say, otherwise we might call it that.

I suppose I don’t put a lot of value on my own stories and those of others. They are there to entertain and educate, but to hold them as “the truth” and/or to hold my own experiences up to them in comparison, feels like a fool’s game. A story might sound complete but the truth is, it only contains the parts wanted to be shared, the parts that keep it intact and “true.” The whole truth is far more nuanced and complex than any story can tell.

Stories by their definition and essence are leading. They are meant to take you on a journey where the course has already been planned. We need to see stories as such, for our own health and happiness. We need to know they are not “the truth,” and are not intended to be. They are simply creations of our experience and our imagination, and how we need to perceive things. There is no need to attach to them.

Write your stories. Love your stories. And acknowledge them for “the truth” they are not. See the stories you attract—and are attracted to—for what they are: expressions of you, and how you perceive your world.

photo credit: duncan c

Hello! I’m Tara, a wizard of less obvious things. I love hearing from you, so please feel free to connect with me.

I deeply appreciate your support of my work—through allowing it to grow in your imagination, through sharing it with others, and through your financial support.